08/08/08 Stop deportations from Dane County Jail

En Español...

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney continues his policy of questioning those booked into Dane County jail about their immigration status, and forwarding the information on to federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since October, 20 to 30 people a month have been deported from the jail, even though the vast majority were only charged with minor offenses.

  • Sheriff Mahoney's actions violate a Dane County Board policy which prohibits law enforcement officers and other county agents from questioning Dane County residents about immigration status.
  • Local law enforcement agencies are not required by federal law to question anyone about immigration status. Sheriff Mahoney's questioning and reporting are strictly voluntary acts.

Contact Sheriff Mahoney and Dane County Board Chair Scott McDonnell to demand an end to questioning about immigration status and forwarding of information to ICE.



WNPJ member group Union de Trabajadores Inmigrantes (UTI) has more on the deportations. Facts on immigration and deportations from UTI:

  • This policy leads to serious costs to our community as it discourages people from talking to the police. That is why many police departments refuse to cooperate with ICE.
  • It can be very costly and will clog the system as no one will want to sign plea agreements which include any amount of jail time, thereby requiring a substantial increase in jury trials and prosecution costs.
  • No human being is illegal. Not having legal status is not a crime, it is a civil offense.
  • Immigration status per se is not a threat to community safety.
  • Immigration is the federal government's responsibility, and local enforcement cannot enforce immigration law UNLESS there is a written Memorandum of Understanding.
  • A criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty. To ask for immigration status and send a notification to ICE for deportation purposes is punishing those that are charged without having been proven guilty.